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Author Topic: NANY 2010 Final Release: Startup Bully  (Read 8966 times)
app103
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« on: January 01, 2010, 01:18:54 AM »

NANY 2010 Entry Information



Application Name Startup Bully
Version 1.0.0.2
Short Description Removes Startup folder shortcuts made by misbehaving applications
Supported OSes Win-All
Web Page (page not created yet)
Download Link http://appsapps.info/downloads/StartupBully.exe
System Requirements
  • Windows (any version)
  • A misbehaving application
Version History
  • 1.0.0.2 Initial release
Author app103


Description
Every once in awhile you come across an otherwise good application with one single nasty little fault: Every time you run it, it insists on sticking a shortcut file in your Startup folder and has no option to opt out of this behavior. You delete the shortcut and the next time you run the application it comes right back.

I have found plenty of utilities that can handle preventing this sort of behavior when the application tries to add itself to startup through the registry, but none to handle when it is making actual shortcut files in the Startup folder.

Startup Bully will opt out for you by removing this unwanted shortcut each time you run the offending application.

Features
  • Launches the application
  • Waits a specified length of time
  • Deletes the unwanted shortcut and then exits


Planned Features
none at this time



Usage
Installation
Copy StartupBully.exe to a folder somewhere on your hard drive.

Using the Application
Edit the original desktop or quicklaunch shortcut (not the unwanted startup folder one!) to the misbehaving application as follows:

  • Right click and select properties.
  • In the target box, edit the text as follows: [path to StartupBully.exe] [original target] [text of unwanted shortcut] [seconds to wait]



Example:

  • The original target for this particular misbehaving application was "E:\Programs Installed\Friendfeed Notifier\FriendFeed\FriendFeed.exe"
  • The path to my StartupBully.exe file is "E:\Programs Installed\Startup Bully\StartupBully.exe"
  • The text of the shortcut the misbehaving application keeps making is "FriendFeed"



  • I want it to wait 10 seconds after launching before it deletes the unwanted shortcut.

So my desktop or quicklaunch shortcut target will be this:

"E:\Programs Installed\Startup Bully\StartupBully.exe" "E:\Programs Installed\Friendfeed Notifier\FriendFeed\FriendFeed.exe" "FriendFeed" 10

Make sure to use quotes around any paths that contain spaces, quotes around the unwanted shortcut text,  and to leave a space between each parameter.

I would start with 10 seconds to give the misbehaving application a chance to load and create the unwanted shortcut. If that isn't enough time, then adjust it as necessary.

If you want the desktop or quicklaunch shortcut to have the original icon of the misbehaving application, then before you close the properties box, click the "change icon" button, browse to the original exe file of your application, select it and choose the correct icon.

When you are finished, click "Apply" and "OK".


Uninstallation
Delete StartupBully.exe and any shortcuts you made that point to it.

Known Issues
none, I hope
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 01:52:04 AM by app103 » Logged

mouser
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 05:27:43 AM »

i don't know any applications that create startup entries without the option to disable, but i can definitely see how this would be useful if you had one.

if you just double-click the executable it gives an error about a value not being an integer.
i think a nice thing to do would be to show someone a simple message about how to use it if they launch it like that; a readme would be nice too.
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app103
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 06:01:16 PM »

I am truly amazed it compiled and actually works, considering how I have been feeling.

I'll take care of the details when I am feeling better.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2010, 06:13:25 PM »

I am truly amazed it compiled and actually works, considering how I have been feeling.

I'll take care of the details when I am feeling better.
Didn't you meet with Cody recently?
Probably bird flu!

Nice-lookin' app.
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Chris
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 04:57:43 PM »

Could this be tweaked to kill the unwanted QuickLaunch entry that Outlook creates every time it is started? Now that would be nice! Or am I missing some point here... huh
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app103
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 02:38:03 AM »

This is strictly for removing shortcuts from the startup folder and it wouldn't work with shortcuts added to the quicklaunch.

I probably could make an app to do that, but I don't have a copy of outlook to test it with, nor do I have any applications that have that same behavior that you are experiencing with outlook.

Give me a few more days to finish recovering from the flu and I'll give it a shot.
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 03:34:11 PM »

Quote
Give me a few more days to finish recovering from the flu and I'll give it a shot.
Hope you're feeling better. Having the flu is miserable. smiley

What would you think about broadening its horizons a bit? For example, Adobe Reader's so egotistical that it insists on putting shortcuts on the desktop AND in the root of the Start Menu -- the latter every single time you install one of their endless security updates. (At least it leaves the Quick Launch menu alone for now.) Maybe there could be a way to watch specified areas for particular shortcuts, or to even prompt for permission to leave a new shortcut in the Start Menu or on the desktop. That would return control to the end user, instead of letting commercial developers leave droppings all over the place without asking. Cool

A one-stop utility would be ideal, where it could watch the HKLM and HKCU startup keys as well!
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app103
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 12:12:41 AM »

Maybe there could be a way to watch specified areas for particular shortcuts, or to even prompt for permission to leave a new shortcut in the Start Menu or on the desktop. That would return control to the end user, instead of letting commercial developers leave droppings all over the place without asking. Cool

A one-stop utility would be ideal, where it could watch the HKLM and HKCU startup keys as well!

This application doesn't watch for anything.

If you identify the behavior as happening every time you run an application, you would use Startup Bully as an alternative launcher that does a 2 step process of launching the offending app, waiting a bit for it to make the shortcut, then it deletes the shortcut you identified by name (as a command line parameter)...then it exits. It does not stay running in the background to do anything, after it has done its specified job.

It has a very simple design.

If I wanted it to do more than what it does, I'd have to start from scratch and write a whole new app to do it and it would be much more complicated than it currently is.

Furthermore, there already exist utilities that can remove from startup those items that write to the registry to do it. My app was created because there wasn't one to handle the Startup folder shortcut issue, which is an unwanted file being created.

When I ran into the situation with an application, I had a whole bunch of people offer suggestions and various tools to try and none of them worked for the particular case, since it wasn't registry based.

I made a tool to handle that particular case with that particular application.

Startup Bully is a more generic application for use with any application that exhibits the same behavior, not just the one application I came across.
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 01:35:02 AM »

This application doesn't watch for anything.
Of course -- it was imprecise terminology I used. Scan then. I'd already seen your description of its method to act as a launcher, and that seems like a great approach.

Quote
If I wanted it to do more than what it does, I'd have to start from scratch and write a whole new app to do it and it would be much more complicated than it currently is.

Furthermore, there already exist utilities that can remove from startup those items that write to the registry to do it.
Sure, I follow you. I'm not trying to make work for you, just suggest that if you feel motivated someday I've never seen an app that lets you monitor for shortcut (*.LNK) creation either by comparing with a previous scan, running in real time, or evaluating timestamps (and I've seen a lot of apps -- maybe more than most).

Then it occurred to me that since your app addresses the Windows startup folder, it might save having to run a variety of tools if one thing covered all those bases described previously and did it well. That's all. Sorry to disturb you -- sometimes people appreciate feedback.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 01:36:33 AM by Cavalcader » Logged

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app103
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 01:46:56 AM »

No, I appreciate the feedback, but the truth is that my app has no idea what is in your startup folder and only looks for the shortcut you specify. It doesn't scan for anything . If it finds the shortcut you specified, it deletes it. If it doesn't, it just exits without doing anything other than launching the app you told it to. It doesn't even know if the app you want it to launch exists. All this info has to be precisely passed to the app as command line parameters.
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 03:40:26 AM »

Makes sense. Thanks.
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2010, 02:57:23 AM »

This may be useful to you -- it doesn't require that you know in advance the filename/path of the executable that wants to install new startup items: "Disable Startup." (The developer seems to have used a translation service for the English text.)

Quote
Disable Startup is a free startup manager and monitoring program, it can scan all Windows Startups on your computer, and monitor all new startup items, helps you control, manage and optimize Windows Startup configuration. It can work with fine Windows XP and Vista, is one protecting tool for Windows Startup from changes. This software can help you save system memory and resources by disable unnecessary programs, because windows launches many unnecessary programs and services at boot up. Disable Startup also monitor the start page of Internet Explorer; stop any change that you don't know.
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